Joint Master of Arts in Public History and Library & Information Science

Do you plan to work in a library or archives and want to create exhibits, digital projects or work with community partners? Are you aiming to build a career in collections management at a museum, historical society or government agency? The MAPH/MLIS may be the right degree for you!

Students in the joint degree program earn both a Master of Arts in Public History (MAPH) and a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from Wayne State's School of Information Science (SIS). Wayne State's M.L.I.S. program is fully accredited by the American Library Association, which means graduates of our joint degree program are certified to work in secondary school, public, private, and academic libraries. Wayne State offers the only joint MAPH/MLIS in Michigan and is one of only a few such programs in the country.

The joint degree program combines intellectual rigor with convenience and flexibility. All M.L.I.S. courses are offered online, and public history courses are offered both at our campus in the heart of Detroit's cultural center and online. (Please note, the MAPH/MLIS cannot be earned entirely online and prospective students should expect to complete some courses in person. Applicants wishing to earn an entirely online degree should instead consider the MA/MLIS.)

Students interested in the archival field may elect to complete a Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration, which requires two additional courses beyond those taken for the joint degree. Students interested in the administration of libraries or historical agencies may elect to complete a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management, which requires one course beyond those taken for the joint degree.


Students in the joint MAPH/MLIS program complete 55 credits of coursework, rather than the 69 credits required to complete each degree separately. Students choose one of two paths to the MAPH degree:

  1. Develop an individualized topical or professional specialization, in consultation with the advisor, consisting of three relevant courses (9-12 credits)
  2. Concurrently earn one of the following graduate certificates relevant to public history careers: Nonprofit Management (3 additional credits), Archival Administration (6 additional credits), or Museum Practice (3 additional credits)

The joint MA/MLIS carries tremendous savings in terms of time and cost, allowing students to earn both degrees in three years of full-time study.

View requirements


See history graduate admissions for more information.

Amber Harrison, MAPH/MLIS student

It was essential that I found an exploratory yet comprehensive program that ensured employability in the cultural heritage field.

This led to a trip down memory lane to my alma mater and the discovery of a new dual degree public history and library science graduate program. I knew immediately that returning to Wayne State was the right path to take. Fast forward years later, I've gained numerous, diverse job experiences, expanded my professional network and will be starting a historical consulting business soon, all thanks to Wayne State's innovative MAPH/MLIS program.

Contact 💬

Karen Marrero, history graduate director

Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.